"The pleasure for readers is twofold: on one hand, there is the intrinsic interest in the subjects...On the other, there’s the fact that this is Lethem telling us these things, and how it gives an insight into his own creative practice" (Guardian)
"A collage of what makes Lethem tick" (Monocle)
"Thoughtful and rambunctious ... a jazzy, patchwork memoir ... [a] fresh, erudite, zestful, funny frolic in the great fields of creativity" (Booklist)
"Hefty and remarkable... These byways, all of which make room for eccentric flights as well as proper essays, augment the charm and impact of what Lethem prefers to call an autobiographical collage" (The New York Times Book Review)
A "New York Times" Notable Book of 2011
"Hefty and remarkable .....These byways, all of which make room for eccentric flights as well as proper essays, augment the charm and impact of what Lethem prefers to call an 'autobiographical collage, ' a phrase he lifts from Vonnegut. This influence seems only natural, for dominating all is Lethem's prime concern always: the novel....generous....exciting....openhearted, unconventional."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Did I say I love this book? Well, OK then, I love this book....bring[s] a novelist's sensibility to these essays, to find a through line, to approximate a narrative. It offers a way, in other words, to rethink the collection as a book in its own right -- and not just that, but a book about a big idea."
--"The Los Angeles Times
"He's a novelist who has spent a lifetime creating his own subversive pantheon, a jumpy CBGB's of the literary soul....Several of the essays here marinate in the fish sauce that is literary gossip.....feisty, freewheeling....funny"--"The New York Times"
""The Ecstasy of Influence" is, more than anything, a record of Mr. Lethem's life as a public novelist, a role for which he is obviously well suited.....Mr. Lethem has such a gift, and "The Ecstasy of Influence" is evidence of it."--"The New York Observer"
"The writer I most wish was my best friend....impressively omnivorous new collection of mostly non-fiction....reveal a lively, even manic mind at play across a wide and wonderful series of subjects that are threaded together, mostly, as a kind of autobiography of a would-be writer becoming a struggling writer and then a successful writer while all the while remaining a voracious reader.....This book is its own kind of dense and dreamy zoo, and even if you don't listen to Echo Echo in your basement apartment, you'll still find much in here to enjoy and know you're enjoying and know that L